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  • Writer's pictureClimate Alpha

Why This Florida City Is a Safe Haven From Hurricanes

The Wall Street Journal partnered with Climate Alpha on a recent report to identify which Florida town is the most hurricane resilient. When looking at hurricane, flooding and strong wind data, our research identified Ocala to be at less risk from coastal flooding than other parts of the state, making it a popular option for storm-weary home buyers.


Included below are graphics and key excerpts from the article.


Wall Street Journal and Climate Alpha graphic on hurricane risk in Florida

*The climate score averages the risk of hurricane winds, and inland and coastal flooding. It is calculated using Core-Based Statistical Area, defined as containing an urban area with a nucleus population. The lower the score, the less the risk. † Information at the CBSA level is an average of the Census Tract level, so statistical range varies Source: Climate Alpha Camille Bressange/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL


"The Wall Street Journal asked Climate Alpha—a company that uses AI to build forecasting models based on data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency related to past events, predictions of future weather, an analysis of local government disaster policies, and infrastructure, including hospital beds—to come up with a list of areas in Florida with the least combined risk from hurricanes, flooding and strong winds.


The winner for lowest risk of coastal flooding: Ocala, located in the center of the state, 82 miles from Orlando and 97 miles from Tampa. According to Climate Alpha, when accounting for a combination of high winds, drought and inland flooding, Ocala comes in third in the state, behind Lake City and Tallahassee. In fact, Ocala’s risk for inland flooding is lower than that of Lake City and Tallahassee."


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